Monday, August 5, 2013

Beach to Beacon 10k Race Report

I received a lot of great publicity in local papers prior to this one and I'm ashamed that I wasn't able to live up to the hype. I had a lackluster race and I have no one to blame for that but myself. That said, I'm not heartbroken or confused or left wandering an empty parking lot at 3am trying to figure out where my last three months or three years have gone... it was just a bad race due to poor training and preparation. The time off finally caught up to me on arguably the most important race of the summer. Here's what I wrote to Adam Birt from Keep Me Current Publications when he asked me a couple of questions via email after Saturday's race:

1) How does the Beach to Beacon fit into your running career?

Beach to Beacon really is the unofficial Maine championship race so I try to focus on it each year and perform well against the state's best runners. This year I had a great spring season and tried to use the fitness gained during that season to sustain me through this summer as I scaled back the workouts and mileage a bit and spent a little more time on other summer activities than I usually do. I found out Saturday that you really can't "fake fitness" as I fell well short of my goal time (30:30) and the top Mainer (Riley Masters). That said, I'm still happy that I walked away from the race with a top-5 finish and now I'm rested both mentally and physically for the fall marathon season.

2) What went through your mind as you raced?

I think pretty much everyone goes into a big race like that with a mile-by-mile game plan, and the first two miles of yesterday's race went according to my plan as I was on pace and in the pack of runners I wanted to be with. At that point, however, I realized the residual fatigue I had felt in my legs before the race was getting worse and I made a conscious decision to let the chase pack go. From then until the Fort I was alone on the course and I had to be careful not to let self-doubt creep in. I knew I wasn't going to have the day I wanted but I could still grind so I kept that mindset until the Fort. At that point I was caught by the lead female, Henry Sterling and Spencer McElwain and my thoughts turned much more aggressive or "game mode" at that point, if you will. I had fleeting but welcome interruptions to my mental grind during the race from friends cheering me on along the course, but all in all it was a mental effort as much as it was a physical one, as every race is.

All in all, I'm glad I set the goal that I did, I'm glad I've had a lot of fun and taken some down time this summer, and I'm ready to start pounding the pavement with a bit greater frequency and intent.

Taking the hard right turn up the hill as I enter the fort (thanks to Eric Cobb for the photo)

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